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Fall In Yellowstone Country

August 27th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

There are several ways to tell that summer is winding down here in Cody. The main thing is the rhythm. The vehicles pulling into, out of and through town are less dense with not as many rental RVs going past.

There are fewer families as kids are heading back to school. Up the Wapiti Valley those of us lucky enough to spot bears – from a safe distance, of course – see that they are getting a little chunky as they eat as much as possible in preparation for winter hibernation.

The bull elk start bugling and sparring as they try to impress the females for rutting season. That would not do much for me as I prefer cowboy love ballads over violent displays.

The air starts to turn a little cooler.  As I pull jeans and sweaters out of the closet, I start thinking about my favorite fall things to do.

Here are just a few:

One of our most prestigious events of the year, Rendezvous Royale is staged the third week of September. The event includes the nationally known Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale with Western-themed art, a quick-draw event, auction, Western Read More


Fires Are Natural

August 20th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

It’s August, and that means there are fires in the West.

Pardon me if that sounds somewhat nonchalant, but we have learned so much about fire ecology, especially with the 1988 Yellowstone fires being discussed. It’s hard to believe it has been 25 years since 793,000 acres burned inside the park. I won’t say what I was doing then, but I was barely out of diapers.

Now that I have graduated to big girl pants, I know that fire is a natural part of a larger cycle and is actually necessary for a healthy forest to exist.

Let’s back up a few decades. For many years, the idea was that all fires were to be prevented or extinguished as quickly as possible. Remember Smokey Bear who used to say “Only YOU can prevent forest fires?”

The result was that tremendous resources went into putting out the fires as quickly and efficiently as possible. The unintended consequence of this policy was that the forests were getting older and the amount of fuel was increasing.

When that long, hot summer of 1988 arrived there was plenty of fuel in and around the park. The fires that started were the result Read More


Ashlee Lundvall

August 13th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                Photo by Layna Hendrich, Photographylayn

For such a small town, Cody sure has more than its share of accomplished people. Sure, Buffalo Bill was considered the best-known person in the world at one time, but there have been others who have gone on to achieve great things.

One of my neighbors is former United States Senator Alan Simpson whom I have looked up to my whole life – he’s very tall! Senator Simpson (many people still call him “Al,” but I cannot imagine calling him anything but “Senator” or “Mr. Simpson”) is one of those people you run into on the sidewalk and he is genuinely interested in your life. He is unfailingly polite and encouraging.

Those words describe a lot of people around here. We teach our kids to say “please” and “thank you” and how to use their knives and forks properly. And we always tell them they can do whatever they set out to.

When I heard the news recently that our own Ashlee Lundvall had won a national pageant I stopped in my tracks and let out a silent scream of pride and congratulations.

You see, Ashlee was paralyzed in 1999 when she was Read More


Best Of The Road

August 6th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

I live in Cody because I love it.

I love the people, the country and the things to do.

I love it when the tourists arrive and bring the energy up to a whole new level, and I love it when the families return home and the town quiets back down.

And I love that when we celebrate July 4, we do it with such enthusiasm that we need several extra days beforehand so that we can fit all of our patriotism into one small town. Anyone who has ever been in town starting July 1 knows that our “Cody-Style July4’ celebration features the region’s finest parades that are topped only by the Cody Stampede.

When I heard that Rand McNally was conducting a contest to identify the Best Small Towns – less than 150,000 people – in the United States, I just assumed that anyone who has ever been to Cody would vote for us. The six categories of the contest are most beautiful, most fun, friendliest, most patriotic, best food and best for geocaching.

Okay, I admit that I have not spent much time geocaching. That’s unfortunate, because it is an activity that gets Read More


Buffalo Bill Photos

July 30th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

If you have ever been to my house, you know that I do a decent job of keeping it clean and free of clutter. I am certainly not a neat freak, but I just don’t like it when there is too much stuff lying around.

My drawers and closets are a different matter. Some of them are nice and neat while others are packed tightly with things I have collected over the years. I absolutely had to have the microwave bacon tray. You know the one that holds up to 14 slices and keeps them separate so they don’t stick together. Same with the perfect meatloaf pan that practically makes dinner without my help.

My walls are a combination of family photos, pieces of art I picked along the way at summer art shows and various knick knacks that caught my fancy.

My prized possessions are a couple of vintage posters from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Many of us locals have mementos that have been passed down through the generations. I know one guy who has a pair of moccasins that belonged to Sitting Bull.

In addition to my posters, I have a box in Read More


The Park County Fair

July 23rd, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

I am a small-town gal. Sure, I was born here and made a vow when I was 13 to get away to the big city, become famous and have people open doors for me whenever I made a grand entrance into a ballroom.

A funny thing happened, however, on my way to stardom. I decided I liked living here. Gentlemen around here do open doors regardless of whether or not you’re famous, and I love running into friends at the grocery store (and just about every else I go) and enjoying some of the less glamorous activities in life.

Like pig wrestling.

Everybody knows that the Park County Fair starts tomorrow in Powell. Right off the bat we will get to see one of my favorite events as our local youth compete to see who can get covered in mud the fastest in the pig wrestling contest. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the competition starts at 7 p.m.

On Wednesday 38 Special takes the stage. You probably know that I have a bit of a weakness for musicians – especially cowboy musicians –and I am hoping that Donnie Van Zandt will autograph my cowboy hat. It would Read More


Hang Gliding Over Park County

July 16th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

So there I was on Saturday, taking in the view of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse and the surrounding areas as I was hang gliding.

You read me right. Most of you know that I am not a daredevil. My idea of risky behavior is going on a first date wearing jeans I bought at Wal-Mart.

But instead of jumping off a cliff and letting the prevailing winds keep me aloft, I took advantage of a new option offered at the airport. Airborne Over Cody provides rides in the “microlight” planes that use fabric wings you see on hang gliders, but the planes are propeller-driven with the pilot and passenger strapped in to a cockpit.

We took off on a glorious blue-sky Absaroka Mountain morning and headed south toward Meeteetse. I wanted to land and make a visit to the “Cowboy Chocolatier” but that idea was unceremoniously nixed. While I am not happy about that decision, I guess I can live with it.

After a right turn over Lower Sunshine Reservoir we flew up to Buffalo Bill State Park. Everybody around here knows the story of how the dam was built so that the North Fork of the Shoshone River Read More


Full Family Season Is Upon Us

July 9th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

The 2013 Cody Stampede is now a fond memory. I should have kept some sort of journal of how many old friends I saw and new ones I made – hmm, maybe I could invent some sort of electronic contraption that will allow me to take photos, record addresses and phone numbers, organize these friends into one big group and then tell everyone details of my life such as what I am having for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But I digress. With the Stampede complete, we are in full summer season, and that means family time. I understand that many people like to travel during what is called the “shoulder seasons” when the weather is nice and the atmosphere a little more relaxed, but as long as kids are in school from early September through early June, families will make the Great American Road Trip in the summer.

Personally, I love it. With the obvious exception of Sleeping Giant ski area, all of our activities and attractions are going full force and you can feel the energy on our streets.

While many of the visitors stop in Cody for one night on their way to or from Yellowstone Park, Read More


Buffalo Bill Presents Our Flag To The Queen

July 2nd, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

With July 4th almost here, I think about what our flag means to me as a symbol of freedom and the joining of the many diverse regions of our country into a single entity that is so much stronger than our individual parts.

I also think about how that flag and our very own Buffalo Bill Cody were instrumental in solidifying our relationship with England.

Many people know that Buffalo Bill was the most famous person in the world at one time. His Wild West Show was incredibly popular as it toured the U.S. and later went international. In 1887, Bill took his show to Europe where it was a smash success seen by more than one million people.

Among those attending the show was the very proper Queen Victoria. Many of the English people were more than a little surprised that the queen chose to attend the show, and this step only served to increase interest. What happened at the show is even better.

At the beginning of each show, Buffalo Bill entered with the American flag. On this day he rode into the arena and over to the queen to present himself and the Read More


The Cody Stampede Is A Week Away!

June 25th, 2013 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 

With the Cody Stampede just a week away I am shifting my efforts to find a date for the July 4th holiday into a higher gear.

I had my sights set on nine-time world rodeo champion Ty Murray, but someone told me he is married to a singer. And I do respect the institution of marriage. Otherwise, I would just head over the Cody Theatre and tell Dan Miller what time to pick me up.

The Cody Stampede is special even in our rodeo-centric town. This year’s events will be held for four days July 1-4 and will attract the top cowboys in the world. I tried to legally change my name to “Cody Stampede” but the judge would not allow it. He didn’t accept my argument that I, too, attracted cowboys.

In addition to the bull riding, roping and such, we have the stampede parade. Actually, that’s two parades. On July 2 at 10 a.m., the Kiddies Parade gets underway. In addition to being in the parade just for the fun of it, the kids compete in various categories such as “Most Patriotic,” “Best Decorated Float” and several others. At 9:30 a.m. on July 3 and 4, the Read More